discussion

qut.edu.au EDWARDSH at QUT.EDU.AU
Mon Oct 18 18:37:00 EST 1993


Phil et al
          My research is looking at the content of the talk to older
          people and the processes involved.  I'm building on the
          work of Giles, Coupland and colleagues which suggests that
          the way in which we talk to older people about their age
          and health status can reinforce negative stereotypes or
          expectations of them.  A self-fulfilling cycle is proposed
          whereby the older person adopts behaviours consistent with
          the stereotypes - hence the impact of the older persons
          health and well-being.  The process I'm looking at is
          overaccommodation (from Communication Accommodation Theory)
          or what is commonly referred to as the demeaning or
          patronising talk to the elderly.

          The basis of all this work is that caring or support is
          basically a communicative act and the health and well-being
          of older people is socially constructed by their
          interactions with others.  If these assumptions are
          accepted then we need to know a lot more about talk to and
          from older people.    Is anyone working in a similar area?
          Any comments from anybody?

          Helen




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